Susan "Spark" Park

Susan "Spark" ParkShare

Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, Meta
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Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 3

I don't have a favorite, but Horizon Workrooms has been pretty cool. I was on the launch team (shout-out to Yuxi Wang who was the PMM on the project), and I left a fantastic job on Gaming to work on this project. The technology is incredible and is helping me realize my personal dream of being to work well with anyone, even if we're miles apart. Check out the trailer too! 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 3

"A product launch is like giving birth. You work so hard on preparing for the birth, but then you have a baby to take care of after," Yuxi Wang, PMM at Meta.

The Product Launch is just the "birthing process" of the product. Establish early metrics please use the 5A Framework for GTM to determine success with your XFN team. 

I consider a launch when the product is live and there are no more gates to usage. A product can be launched into BETA, and the success metrics can coincide with those expectations. 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 3

Instead of a "vertical focus" go forward with a New Audience focus so you can leverage the 5A GTM framework , and ensure you're thinking through a consumers' need. 

Also, if you focus on a new user, you can also employ the "Job to be done" framework, which can help narrow what the customer really wants to get done and how your product can satiate that need. After you establish those jobs (UXR) you can use market research and even analytics to scale out the size of these jobs and what could bring in the most users. Always put people first. 

Market research, user research and analytics (data trends) are you sweet trio of fantastic insights that can help you figure out the new Audiences to expand your product.

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 3

Absolutely.  

  1. Audience: Understand your target(s)
  2. Angle: Tell your audience(s) how you solve a problem
  3. Accomplishments: Have goals and milestones
  4. Activate: How to execute your plan
  5. Assess: Evaluate and adjust

Most of all empower your XFN team to ensure you have the tactics spelled out, especially in the Angle and Activate sections. (Naming, positioning, core messaging etc). Bring in experts for each A and they will help ensure you have your tactics covered for the launch you would like to complete. 

You can find more detail here: Spark's 5A Framework for GTM: 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 3

Do not launch in that market/region if you do not have support. Instead, focus on other areas/regions that do, shore up your resources and be a bigger success. Nothing is more attractive than a successful product elsewhere, so if you find success in other regions, the stakeholder will be asking for you to come to the market. 

A seniors sales stakeholder in a SaaS organization's job is to drive revenue, and the easiest way for them to do that is to launch a new product. If they are not welcoming the new product with open arms, it probably has big flaws and they don't want to go through the trouble of launching it or already biased against it. I would meet with that stakeholder for feedback. You can use the 5A Framework to keep it high level, and get solid feedback.  

"If they don't sweat you, don't sweat them," Kunal Merchant, PMM at Meta.

I could be butchering his quote, but this is something that has stuck with me through the years, and is great life advice. I actually think it works well with dating too. ;-) 

Also, I'm making the assumption here that the senior stakeholder is a SALES/REVENUE driving stakeholder. 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 3

Spotify Video Ads

Why: I had a new boss that did not trust me yet, nor hired me and didn't understand my Google background and I needed to gain their trust as well as the XFN team

Thinking back I grew significanlty during this because I had to earn the trust of a new manager AND my XFN team to get this done. It was exhausting and trained me for the future, but I would not put anyone else through what I went through.  

I have now been that new manager coming into a launch and I've learned how to listen, and be supportive from the beginning. I believe trust is lost vs earned to empower people as much as possible, and I've been delightfully happy in the results. 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 1

I built the 5A Framework of GTM for this question. :-) I know where you're coming from. You're proud of your incredibly, detailed GTM, but you need to present this plan to your GTM team, and you're in a sea of product documents and spreadhseets and you're unsure of what points to bring up. Create 5 sections with each of these A's, and you'll be surprised how holistic the GTM story is, and the quality feedback you will get back to pivot the GTM if need it.

This is why

  1. Audience: You must understand your target(s), and how it will be best to approach them. This can open eyes on who the product is built for and if you're going after an existing customer base or expading into a new customer base. This can start landing whether or not you're driving growth or retention in your accomplishments or goals
  2. Angle: What is your message/angle. This will tell your audience(s) how you solve a problem. This can address whether or not your angles/messages go along with the existing mission and other product suite. Feedback here is critical to understand if the product is in line with where the company is going, and this is critical to get buy-in. This also leaves room for your copy and marketing team to get very creative. 
  3. Accomplishments: Your goals and milestones. These are also critical to get buy-in. If you're gunning for growth you will potentially have commercial objectives to hit. Either way, these will be necessary to ensure you are positiong your launch in line with the success executives want to see. This can also focus the GTM team for the right areas, and drive the right channels to hit these Accomplishments. 
  4. Activate: How will you execute your plan? This is where a screenshot of the GTM checklist with highlights of your top channels and partners come in. If you're not getting push back on any of the Audience, Angle, or Accomplishments, this Activation plan will not need to change much. But if any of the preceding A's are changed, be prepared to change how you will Activate, which is why it's more tactics than a big discussion. Also if your channel team understand all of the A's, they will have great ideas of their own to Activate. Empower your team with knowledge with the 5A Framework. 
  5. Assess: Evaluate and adjust. This will come in a post-launch and your plan of tracking. Everyone needs to be onboard on this for when you will regroup and what success/good looks like. This will enable the whole team to learn from each other and adapt better for the next launch. 

If your teams don't all understand this at a high level, it would be very hard for them to have agency in their contribution to the GTM. So ensure everyone has this undestanding so they can brainstorm how the best to hit these goals in your launch. 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 1

Accomplishments or goals: This is a critical A (please refer to Spark's 5A Framework or other answers) that can be very hard to figure out, but it's worth the time to build them. 

I like to think of KPIs in two buckets: 

1. New/nascent products need to drive Retention. Set up your Acccomplishments to focus on retention, and after you have that - you can push growth and start heavily investing in marketing to drive growth.

  • If you aren't retaining customers, then there is no need to focus on anything else. You do not have product-market fit because people are churning from your product. 
  • You're still in alpha/beta mode because you are not holding a cohort of users for longere than 7, 28, 90 days+ (yes look at it from multiple lengths of time) to help diagnose how to make the product sticky. This is why mobile games can go through months of soft launch to figure this out. 
  •  Try to set up a "bare minimum" threshold of users you want to retain. Do you need 5k-10k of retained users to understant if the product is working? Make sure you've talked to product and your business teams to figure out what is a statistically significant number of users you want to hit to understand your retention curves, and whether or not you can afford to acquire them.

I know of a lot of teams who invested in growth too early, before their product was sticky and churned through a ton marketing spend and even marketing employees driving growth into a product that churned users. Don't take growth alone in a new/nascent product. Retention will be the most important thing in the beginning.  

2. Retentive products need to drive Growth. If you have retention down then your GTM strategy shifts from changing behaviors to getting more people into your product so they are in the habit-loop of retention that your existing users have.  

  • This is when you know your product is sticky enough, and it's time to invest to find more users and new audiences who can use your product. 
  • When you launch features in existing products, if they're large changes, you may also go back into retention mode. Ex) You launch a new user experience within a big product suite, you could take it back to be a nascent feature.  

As for cadence - after you set your accomplishments (goals), you should be checking in on them on a weekly basis in your GTM/Commercialization meetings. Once you feel like you have a set of findings and trends (I like to do this after 90 days) you can present/address them with product if they haven't learned about them already. You are constantly the source of aggregated user behavior so do not skip over these important Accomplishment/metrics is your GTM. 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, MetaFebruary 1

I invented the 5A Framework for GTM to easily communicate a nd keep track the top objectives of a Go-To-Market plan. 

  1. Audience: You must understand your target(s), and how it will be best to approach them. 
  2. Angle: What is your message/angle. This will tell your audience(s) how you solve a problem.
  3. Accomplishments: Your goals and milestones
  4. Activate: How will you execute your plan? 
  5. Assess: Evaluate and adjust

If your GTM has all of these five elements you have a solid overview of what your GTM will deliver. It also creates real-language objectives for your GTM vs using our jargon like core-value proposition and other product-led language. This has been a very handy framework for me to deliver the executive summary of the GTM, especially to executives who are unfamiliar with product marketing and haven't seen a full GTM strategy for their business before. 

Many product marketers focus on the Activate more than the other A's, but if you do, you run the risk of just running a launch and a campaign vs holistically driving growth and adoption of a product.  

A lovely exercise to ensure you have the 5A Framework covered is the work backward exercise that Amazon employs.   

The A's will have your GTM in a solid place. So rely on them to ensure you're not getting too mucked up in the details. 

Susan "Spark" Park
Susan "Spark" Park
Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus, Meta
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Head of Product Marketing, VR Work Experiences, Oculus at Meta
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Lives In London, ENG
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